A-B-C easy as 1-2-3
There are a million books about the alphabet--and rightly so as we are willing to buy them so our kids can learn their ABCs, right? However, there are definitely more quality ABC books out there and these are the ones we've enjoyed the most.
Little Lion just received this one for Christmas from us. That's right! Even though it was on our list of must-have picture books for the 12 Days of Christmas, we didn't own a copy. We just borrowed one for a very long time from our school library. (Thank you, Mrs. M for always being patient with us. And, yes, I still had about 5-6 books here at home even though it was Winter Break. I didn't want them to get lonely at school.....)
I just re-read each letter story and realized that LL and I had skipped a few when we were reading it earlier. The reason? LL likes to read through the letters at whim, sometimes stretching back to an interconnected story, sometimes choosing a letter just for fun. While this is an alphabet book, it's not a book for toddlers as the pages might get torn. Again, unless you have the 2 or 3 year old who will sit still for a few minutes to read. I have bookworms so this has never been an issues here. So I read the letters in order for the first time. And you know what? Both ways of reading are fun and correct and engaging. Oliver Jeffers' illustrations and stories are quirky and full of humor, just how we like our stories to be.
I kind of want to make up side stories to all the letter stories. Or, I think each letter would be a great story prompt for the classroom. In reality, I just want to read more. Each letter story is enjoyable and some inter-relate. And the one I want to write about the most is the letter O--I can definitely see some great adventures with Owl and Octopus on that Ocean. Hmm...
If you don't own this book and would like a preview, see below for our video read-alongs of the letters B and F.
Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli
I love books, even better if they're fat. Alphablock doesn't disappoint. I've admired this book for a long time and finally bought one as a gift several years ago. I hope it lasted the toddler fingers. Each letter in this alphabet is a cut-out and tactile. It's a great way to learn the letters--better for mature 3 year olds or 4 year olds on up. And if your littles love this version, there's also a numbers version and (my fave) Dinoblock!
TouchThinkLearn: ABC by Xavier Deneux
I've also bought this one as a gift. The TouchThinkLearn series is a great hands-on, read-along experience and these books are sturdy enough for toddlers. Each page is tactile, covered in bright colors, and also easy to read letters with words that start with each letter. It's a great one for the younger reader. (And we're ALL readers, even before we learn to read.)
Star Wars ABC by Scholastic
I think we've established that we're a Star Wars family, right? So, of course, we snatched up the Star Wars ABC when it was on the Scholastic flyer. Yes, I'm a huge Scholastic customer. I can't help it--I remember being a kid and loving to receive all those books. This Star Wars ABC book doesn't disappoint, with many Star Wars favorite characters making an appearance.
There is another Star Wars ABC book that came out that I got for one of my nephews, Star Wars ABC-3PO by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy and illustrated by Katie Cook. It's also a great read with fun cartoon drawings of the characters, plus informative blurbs about them.
Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss is the master of quirky and fun read-along rhyming texts. It's hard to compare him to anyone, but there's a reason why his books are still top of the list for early readers (and grown-up readers). His ABC book is just as good, with lots of good rhyme and meter. One of my faves? "Big L, Little l, what begins with L? Lion with a lollipop. L...l...L." A bonus is that this one doesn't get boring to read for an adult, plus your little one learns the BIG and little versions of the letters, while learning what words begin with each letter.
Side note: Years ago Urban Outfitters had tee-shirts that corresponded to these letters. Now I wish I bought them all. We have a 'D'and a 'Little D' in our family so I got them those versions at the time.
Eric Carle's ABC by Eric Carle
If your little one loves Eric Carle and his marvelous collage of illustrations, then this ABC book is for you. There are lift-the-flap elements and old favorite characters throughout. Eric Carle is a must in every library. We have several versions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, including this awesome one that my sister-in-law found that enables you to illustrate it yourself. A family favorite that I didn't mind reading on repeat.
A to Z by Sandra Boynton
In my world, you can never go wrong with Sandra Boynton. If you or your little one love any of her books, this is a great one to learn the alphabet with familiar, rotund characters.
There you have it! Our favorite ABC books for the younger and older crowd. Though I'm sure there's a new favorite just around the corner....